for voice, 6 musicians, electronics & video
Commissioned by: Ensemble Interface
Funded by: Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung
First performance: Biennale di Venezia, Teatro alle Tese, 02.10.20
Voice: Giulia Zaniboni
Publisher: Edizioni Suvini Zerboni
The general subject
Instrumental freak show is a manifesto on diversity.
The concert/show presents a peculiar vision of sound, fatally different and deformed because it is the outcome of a long, painstaking and permanent research on the relation between lutherie and sound.
Most of the musical instruments used in Instrumental freak show are purposely reproduced or invented: daxophone, string instruments with twin caliber strings, etc
The thirty minutes of music are divided into 5 episodes/movements, each of which features a peculiar sound, a specific instrumentation and a different character/personage.
Instrumental freak show thus deals with diversity as a powerful engine of the world. Every agglomerate of matter or of existences, every city, can be viewed as an open freak show, cleansed of all suffering, disdain and abuse, where we can appreciate the deformity of others and become richer through it. The materials and bodies we come into contact with, are possible sources of richness if we observe their capacity to produce knowledge, awareness, wellbeing.
Therefore, every subject is a freak.
I am a freak.
1 female voice
6 players (fl, perc, e-guit, vln, vla, vlc)
musicians and distribution of instruments:
VOICE: whammy pedal (like Digitech Whammy 5), small tube/cone
FLUTE: Bass flute, 2 C foot joints, 1 Thunder Tube (15cmX15cm) + support to suspend the thunder tube + 1 plastic stick + extra-heavy plectrum (1.20 mm, ca), mini-speaker + miniamplifier
E-GUITAR: E-guitar, dax, emery board, Mac + soundcard Hi-Z input, Midi pedal, small tube/cone, 1 piezo pickup (like Schaller Oyster S/P)
PERC: small tube/cone, 2 Thunder tube (15cmX15cm) + support to suspend 1 thunder tube + 1 plastic stick + 2 metal sticks + extra-heavy plectrum (1.20 mm, ca), heavy plectrum (0.8 mm, ca), flexatone, toy guitar, 1 piezo pickup (like Schaller Oyster S/P), 2 compact disc plastic cases
VLN: Violin (scordatura: ¼ tone lower), Bi-gauge strings violin + squared tuning fork, heavy plectrum (0.8 mm, ca), dax, small tube/cone, 1 piezo pickup (like Schaller Oyster S/P)
VLA: Viola, Bi-gauge strings violin + squared tuning fork, heavy plectrum (0.8 mm, ca), Daxophone + dax + cello bow, overdrive pedal, volume pedal, 1 piezo pickup (like Schaller Oyster S/P)
VLC: Cello (scordatura: ¼ tone higher), Bi-gauge strings violin + squared tuning fork, heavy plectrum (0.8 mm, ca), Daxophone + bottleneck + dax + cello bow, overdrive pedal, volume pedal, 1 piezo pickup (like Schaller Oyster S/P)
29’30″, divided into 5 episodes
light design and set designer: angelo linzalata
video: giovanni verrando, michele innocente
text curated by: giovanni verrando
sound engineer: paolo brandi
instrument maker: MT experimental instruments – andrea tremolada
The 5 characters
1. Gracious Kaspar: a character who lives inside a painting
2. Koz’ma Prutkov: a great Russian poet who never existed
3. Oiseau Lyre: a singer with a complexly-muscled syrinx, who delightfully mimicks the sounds around her
4. Drill bit: word-shooting machine, playing jokes on language and society
5. Io: everyone is a freak
photo credit: La Biennale di Venezia